Just how happy are you at your workplace?
No matter how well you do your job, you may not always be appreciated or rewarded for the work you do.
You could also face a number of challenges in your workplace such as:
• Little fulfilment
• Long hours and tight deadlines
• Conflicting demands on your time and loyalty
• Little balance between personal life and work commitments
• Strained relationships with the important people in your life
• Lack of any say at work
• Internal politics and a rigid company structure
• Bullying within the workplace
• Few promotional opportunities
So just how do you cope?
At the end of the day, you want to be involved in fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable, get recognition and promotion for your efforts, and be appreciated for the work you do.
But at the same time, want a balanced life with time for the things you really want to do with a full and interesting social life. Of course you want to have clarity about your career, job duties and you want to continue to be healthy, fit and stress free.
It seems a lot to ask for – and the key for resolving these seemingly conflicting challenges is to get clear about just how much you love the work you do?
Is what you do for work make you jump out of bed every morning?
Or would you rather be doing something else?
No matter how good things are in other parts of your life such as family, social life and relationships, work is a major part of your life, and not to be neglected.
Since for now you have chosen to be in the job you are in, it is up to you for the time being to make the most of what you do. Of course in the long term, you can either change your job or even embark on a new career. But for now, you can get to love more of what you do right now.
Assuming that in the short term you are not able to change jobs, there are a number of things you can do to begin enjoying more of what you currently do.
Ask yourself – is it the job or is it you?
And what can you do to make your current work more enjoyable?
Stop acting the victim. YOU are responsible for your life and if you can’t immediately change the job you are in, then it is up to you to make the most of it.
Here are 12 tips to enjoy more your current job.
1. Get motivated to face the day
On the way to your workplace, think of how the work you have allows you to have your life outside of it, such as a great social life. A positive attitude will make the day more pleasant and productive.
2. Keep your work in perspective
You can only do the best you can in each situation. Look beyond yourself and your work, and consider the bigger picture. Do some voluntary work to gain a broader outlook. Find a way to contribute to society in general.
3. You are more than your work
Do not have your identity too strongly tied to the job you do. Give up thinking that your work life “should” be a certain way. Such expectations of what you were supposed to be, as set by your parents and teachers, stop you from enjoying what you currently do.
4. Plan your time and create a to-do list
In this list, include long term projects as well as the more imminent things that need doing.
Prioritise your to-do list – do the most important things first. When performing any task, ask yourself – is this the best use of my time? Schedule in enough time for your studies etc.
5. Concentrate on the task at hand
Do not let yourself be distracted by worrying about all the other things to be done or losing energy over the undesirable situation you find yourself in. Stay in the moment.
Be ruthless and take care of a task before it gets on a possible procrastination list. For example, sort your morning post immediately in one go – open it, file it, act on it or bin it there and then.
6. Be clear about what’s expected of you
Clarify immediately, any time you are not sure or where you are faced with conflicting demands. The more clear and upfront you are with your manager and the other people you work with, the better it will be for you in the long term.
7. Delegate wherever appropriate
Decide if there is anything that can be delegated, or that more fairly belongs to someone else’s work load. Always remember the “3D” rule – do it, dump it or delegate it – never handle a piece of paper twice.
8. Have regular breaks
Get away from your normal workplace even if only for five minutes. Try taking a break from the laptop, emails and do leave the mobile behind. Make sure that you do have that lunch break – it is not just for food but also for fresh air and a mental break.
Eat a healthy lunch and if you must snack, make sure it is healthy too – an apple rather than a bag of crisps. Look for ways of energising yourself, other than from adrenaline and caffeine.
9. Learn to relax
No matter how challenging the work gets or how demanding your bosses become, it, at the end of the day it is only a job and you are much more than that. In years to come, you will look back and wonder what the fuss was.
10. Make your workplace more pleasant
Contribute towards creating a pleasant work environment. Do not gossip in the office as it just creates negativity all around. Do not listen to any gossip either. Minimise your time with people that you do not resonate with or like.
Learn to have more fun at work. Laugh more and chill out. Perform with a more fun orientated approach.
11. Review your day before you leave for home
Look at what worked well, and what could be improved the next day. If you feel satisfied with the day’s work, then why not reward yourself later that day. You deserve it.
12. Switch off once you leave work
You are already at work a third of your time, so do not continue to keep it buzzing in your head during your supposed free time. Mentally say good bye to your work space the moment you leave for home.
See your work as a game. Life is meant to be fun and if you are going to spend a third of it at work, you might as well enjoy the game.
Enjoy your work – and if it comes down to it, you can always find something better in the medium to long term.
Arvind Devalia is a writer, blogger, life coach and social entrepreneur living in a leafy part of central London. Arvind was born in Kenya, his heritage is Indian and he has lived in the UK for over 20 years. A true citizen of the world.